World of Warcraft introduces the ability to switch Covenants in its latest Shadowlands beta build

    
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World of Warcraft introduces the ability to switch Covenants in its latest Shadowlands beta build

Testing for World of Warcraft’s upcoming Shadowlands expansion just got a little more interesting. The most recent beta build of the expansion has introduced the ability for players to change their chosen Covenant.

Players will reportedly have to go through a series of confirmation windows to leave a Covenant, while returning to a Covenant involves the completion of a quest. Additionally, senior game designer Paul Kubit stated in an interview that switching Covenants should be easy but returning to a previous Covenant should be far more challenging and have some form of a restriction in order to limit people from blipping back and forth too often.

Readers will recall that this new option is a pretty significant divergence from making the decision a per-character one. Presumably, this will be done in service to The Meta, where players could possibly lock others from joining in raid groups because they picked the “wrong” Covenant that has the “wrong” powers. Or maybe players would rather be angels instead of vampires. In any event, it looks like testers currently have the choice, though of course this feature might not make it into the expansion’s full release.

source: Wowhead (1, 2)

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Sorenthaz

Guess it was a better choice than trying to actually build the game around not punishing folks for playing alt characters.

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TomTurtle

Blizzard sadly and predictably remains obstinate on the Covenant restrictions. Such a strange thing for players to celebrate too considering how popular features like transmog and spec swapping are. Features that opened up restrictions of tying player power to cosmetics and feeling stuck in one role.

But no, let’s instead call for Blizzard to go back on such game design because “roleplaying.”

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

Sad to see them cave to Min-Maxers while sacrificing RP but not surprised

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Dug From The Earth

They actually arent.

The inability to easily and quickly switch back and forth is entirely based to fight AGAINST the min/maxers.

This option to switch has been planned and talked about opening by the devs for awhile now. Like the article above states… you can easily leave a Cov, but coming back will be a HUGE task.

The concept is to keep players from switching Covenants for every different raid boss or game event like they do with specs.

The problem I have here is that I dont believe the average gamer, IE: the majority of gamers, were doing this. I think it was more more hardcore, more elite raiders.
These same players who constantly switch specs/builds based on the bosses they are fighting, also do other crazy things like entirely switching out characters for a boss fight.

I can easily see any restriction made to switching covenants bypassed by these extreme players by simply having multiple characters/classes that have different covenants

“Ok, DPS, jump on your Mage characters now that have the XYZ covenant”

This covenant swapping “hurdle” is entirely designed to fight against the small % of players, but is affecting the majority of players as a result. Blizzard being Blizzard unfortunately.

Dont cater to the minority when it comes to gaming.

xpsync
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xpsync

They did cave, originally it was Covenant choice for life. Now they are letting you switch, but real hard to get back in.

Which eventually will devolve into, @ Npc I want to switch

Alright, you’ll need to do this EPIC Legendary hard af quest first.

Talk to the npc beside me.

You are the Champion! Quest Complete! You’ve switched Covenant.

Hey it’s sad but you know it’ll be true… one day (after launch). lol

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Dug From The Earth

They didnt cave to min/maxers.

If they had, switching covenants would be unlimited, and instant, to benefit the hardcore elite raiders.

They “caved” to the general players, who didnt want to feel like their entire game might be penalized by a single bad decision. The current system for swapping is really one of “Ah shucks, I really should have made this choice instead….” and not one of “One raid boss down, time to switch Covenant for the next boss!!”

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traja

This is a fair point. For the truly hardcore min/max players this hurdle will only represent more hours spent grinding alts. They will still be able to optimize but it will be a lot of work. Which they complain about but are willing to do since it is necessary to win.

Where this matters most are players who are not hardcore but still want to perform. For example I like to min/max but gearing up multiple characters is going too far for me. So for someone like myself I am having to choose a spec and playstyle to focus on and just ignore everything else.

To give an example on how much this will matter take a look at the Mage ability for Necrolords. It causes your Arcane Blast, Frostbolt or Fireball to cleave onto two additional targets and buffs your spell damage by 10% for 20 seconds. That is incredible for Arcane as Arcane Blast is their main damage source. It is barely anything for Frost since Frostbolt is a proc generator mainly and not a main damage source. For Fire the cleave is wasted since you want to use the damage buff along with Combustion, a time when you don’t cast Fireball.

So if you are a Mage you basically have to go Necrolord for Arcane spec but it is a meh choice for the other specs.

xpsync
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xpsync

I truly wonder how much of this is pre planned as in, lets create a shit storm scenario then we’ll just go with what we originally planned anyway and the community will be overjoyed that we are listening.

xpsync
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xpsync

I heard that this was the way over a month ago?

Super simple to leave, quest your way back in.

So this news is really that it’s now live in testing? The method itself is ancient news, and i’m literally trying to avoid SL info and news lol, which is freaking hard when you play the game with others.

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jealouspirate

Yes, that’s right. Blizzard announced this exact system a long time ago, it’s just now made it into the beta though.